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Clean (Cleaner) 45 Colt Loads?


Dust'N Bottles

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For the past year and a half or for as long as Iv'e been reloading 45 Colt I have been using Trail Boss with a 200 gn. Bullet and a real firm roll crimp at the groove. The problem is that this stuff seems to be real dirty, if I shoot 2 matches or 12 stages it takes an hour plus to get the carbon cleaned / scraped off of the 73's carrier. So with that said I'm coming up on the last bit of a 5 lb. jug and looking for something cleaner but still reliable, open to any and all suggestions. Or is 45 Colt just going to be dirty at Cowboy pressures no matter what and I just need to get over it and learn to enjoy long hours at the cleaning bench. Thanks in advance. 

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Lots of other powders cleaner than Trail Boss. Heck, real BP is nearly as clean and EASIER to clean up.

 

Clays, Red dot, Clean Shot, just to name a few.

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DNB, when you get home after a match, grab a can of Remoil and spray the lifter,  the walls around it, and tad on the face of the follower.. Cycle the action a few times and spray a bit more standing the rifle barrel down. Go drink something cool and invigoratin'.  Pick up the rifle and cycle a few more times. Spray a little more and watch out for the dirty oil dropping on the floor.  Stubborn stuff can simply be wiped off. I do the same with my revolvers and the 1897. Remember barrels down. Put a rag under the barrels to catch dirty runoff. 

I use an air compressor to blow off the extra oil. 

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1 minute ago, bgavin said:

It is my understanding that Trail Boss and many others, are more dirty at low pressure loads.

 

You understand correctly, but TB is still the dirtiest and still dirty at medium->high pressures.

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I know that everyone says that Trail Boss is dirty, but I've been shooting 6.5 gr. of TB out of my Uberti '66 in .44-40 for the last 6 months with no noticeable residue.

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3 minutes ago, Marshal Hangtree said:

I know that everyone says that Trail Boss is dirty, but I've been shooting 6.5 gr. of TB out of my Uberti '66 in .44-40 for the last 6 months with no noticeable residue.

 

That's why.

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3 minutes ago, Marshal Hangtree said:

That's why I suggested he anneal his .45C brass. :)

Fair enough, but that's a lot of work. 

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I use 700x for my smokeless loads.  I find it's pretty easy to clean up after except for my 1911 which gets all kinds of dirty and needs to be cleaned every 200 rounds or so.  Still seems to be a pretty easy to get off though.  Just a bit of the ol' #9 on a few cleaning pads and an old toothbrush...

 

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Howdy

 

My only comment is to try 7.5 grains of Unique under a 250 grain bullet.

 

That is the smokeless load I used to use in my pistols.

 

I don't have a rifle chambered for 45 Colt, probably never will, I love 44-40 for my rifles.

 

If you think a 250 grain bullet will cause too much recoil, just remember that your '73 is a relatively heavy rifle and you may be surprised how you don't notice the recoil.

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For a toggle-link rifle, if you want cleaner loads and you don't anneal the cases, you're going to have to make separate loads for your rifle.  You need to go heavy in order to expand heavy-walled cases to better seal the chamber.  You won't notice heavier recoil in the rifle like you would in the pistol.  Heavy bullet, heavy crimp, heavier load of powder.  Use published load data so you stay within safe and SASS-legal limits.

 

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Use a 250 gr. Bullet loaded to 700 to 750 FPS.  You will find that the blow-by will be drastically reduced.

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I've been taught that the higher chamber pressures ensure a more complete burn.
15k PSI and up.

The oxymoron here is, most cowboy loads don't reach 15k PSI.

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DNB ,

I shoot 6.0 grns.of W231 over a 200 grn.RNFP .Pretty clean as is ,but when I started annealing my cases ,cleaning chores got a lot easier.

There are lots of ways to get this accomplished and some are very quick and don't require any special or expensive equipment.If you enjoy shooting the .45 c

Colt ,it's well worth the time invested.

Choctaw Jack 

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Not wanting to hijack the thread, but I shoot .45 Colt also with TB, and I see quite a few have said anneal the cases.  How do you do that?  I know you can't do it with a propane torch, I tried and had so many problems that I had to throw out 100 pieces of brass.

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Can use an annealing machine some are electric and some are propane or have also seen a salt bath technique. None of it is real cheap unless you are handy with electronics and such and build your own - well the salt bath isn't as expensive as the others. You can find a decent prebuilt propane machine for less than or a little more than the price of a decent pistol. Annealing doesn't really need to be done on new or newer cases usually. People do do them by hand with a propane torch but as you found it isn't the best especially if you are doing a lot of cases. Some people try to use an oven but you really don't want to anneal the whole case. 

 

A heavier bullet and a stiffer load helps to make a seal with the brass too. 

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You can anneal 45 Colt cases with a Cordless Drill, a 1/2 inch socket with bolt thru it and propane bottle (fat) with a torch on it.  5 to 6 seconds per case then dump inna bucket (optional) of water.

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7 hours ago, Tyrel Cody said:

Fair enough, but that's a lot of work. 

 

and easy to screw up a lot of brass... dont ask how i know...

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I made one of these for doing 45-70, 38-55, and 30-06.  Use templaq to get the temperature right.

 

You can make even fancier versions for a little more money.

 

 

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I annealed my brass, use a decent crimp and no problems.  I load a 200 gr. bullet (.452 )  with 5.0 grains of Red Dot.  After a match I wipe it down, bore snake it one time and it is ready to go.  I DO NOT disassemble anything.

Blackfoot

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19 hours ago, Dust'N Bottles said:

For the past year and a half or for as long as Iv'e been reloading 45 Colt I have been using Trail Boss with a 200 gn. Bullet and a real firm roll crimp at the groove. The problem is that this stuff seems to be real dirty, if I shoot 2 matches or 12 stages it takes an hour plus to get the carbon cleaned / scraped off of the 73's carrier. So with that said I'm coming up on the last bit of a 5 lb. jug and looking for something cleaner but still reliable, open to any and all suggestions. Or is 45 Colt just going to be dirty at Cowboy pressures no matter what and I just need to get over it and learn to enjoy long hours at the cleaning bench. Thanks in advance. 

 

Throw your carrier in with your brass when you tumble clean.

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On 8/2/2019 at 9:43 AM, Dust'N Bottles said:

Or is 45 Colt just going to be dirty at Cowboy pressures no matter what...


At today's match I was picking up lots of dirty brass.
Very sooty at the bullet end of the case.

Both 38 and 45C were loading Clays.
Nobody today had Trail Boss.

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6 minutes ago, bgavin said:


At today's match I was picking up lots of dirty brass.
Very sooty at the bullet end of the case.

Both 38 and 45C were loading Clays.
Nobody today had Trail Boss.

 

Not surprised, Trail Boss is the most expensive and dirtiest of the smokeless powders. Other smokeless powders are dirty too, especially at low pressure like a lot of cowboys shoot, but cheaper and cleaner than TB.

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I've looked at 182 loads for 38SP and various bullets suitable for CAS below 1,000 fps.
I further narrowed it down to powders producing PSI in the BHN=9 to BHN=12 pressure range.
These include some powders not an exact match for either BHN=9 or BHN=12.

Sorted from highest VMD to lowest:
 

• Trail Boss
• N32C
• Clays
• IMR Red
• Hi-Skor 700-X
• Competition
• Nitro 100 NF
• WST
• N320
• Universal
• Bullseye
• No. 2
• Clean Shot
• 231
• Titegroup
• 572
• 244
• AutoComp
• CFE Pistol

 

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The bottom line answer is ..... YES.  If your shooting 45 Colt, your going to get Blow-By.  Just degrees.  Trail Boss also doesn't play well with Petroleum Based Lubricants either.  The only cure for Blow-By in your rifles is Annealing.

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The .45 colt case makes for a lousy smokeless cowboy cartridge in a rifle. Loading it at the bottom end of the range makes it worse. And loading it with a light bullet at the bottom end makes it worse still. I'm also lazy and would rather watch paint dry than anneal cases for CAS. Not knocking anyone who does and I admire that persistence and success, but it's not for me.

 

I load all my smokeless Cowboy rounds at mid-range. When I load smokeless in .44 or .45 cases, it's Trailboss.  The .44-40 on the left was loaded with 6 gr. TB and a 200 gr bullet. The C45S was loaded with a 180 gr bullet and 4 gr TB. Neither case has been wiped down or been thru the tumbler yet. (The rim groove on the C45S is stained from years of reloading it.)

 

When I had a .45 rifle I used TB and a 250 gr bullet with similar results. Driftwood is spot on -- "If you think a 250 grain bullet will cause too much recoil, just remember that your '73 is a relatively heavy rifle and you may be surprised how you don't notice the recoil."

 

Driftwood, you gave me that advice for my rifle almost 10 years ago. Thank you again. :) 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

Driftwood is spot on -- "If you think a 250 grain bullet will cause too much recoil, just remember that your '73 is a relatively heavy rifle and you may be surprised how you don't notice the recoil."


Indeed.
250 grains with the max Trail Boss load in 45C is only 1.73 lbs of recoil in an 8.0 lb rifle, compared to 5.7 ft-lbs in a revolver.

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